Not all that long ago, buffalo once roamed most of Texas, save the piney woods. After all, Texas is in the southern portion of the Great Plains. Now, most of the buffalo found in the Lone Star State are found on private land, with the animals having come from captive herds. The legal status of those captive herds, however, is now in question after a man shot 51 buffalo that roamed onto his ranch from a neighboring ranch:
Source: A West Texas Ranch wants new state laws in place after the majority of their herd of buffalo is shot dead on neighboring land. The Guthrie ranch says it was one man who picked up a gun and shot the buffalo, they say unnecessarily.
QB Ranch is an hour and a half east of Lubbock in King County. There you can find one of the few places left that has American Buffalo roaming the land.
Edmond Casillas, QB Ranch Foreman: “They had the whole ranch to run on. Now they’re going to be pinned up in a small pen.”
Casillas says trouble began when part of his ranch’s herd of 120 roamed onto a neighboring ranch back in January.
Casillas: “I thought it was gossip, that somebody had shot a bunch of buffalo.”
Casillas called around, eventually finding out the name of the person supposedly responsible for shooting the animals. During a blunt phone call with the man, Casillas realized the worst of the rumors were true.
Casillas: “He told me that he’d taken care of them. And I said well, uh, what did you do? Did you sell them? What? He says, no. I shot ’em. I said, how many are we talking about? 51 head.”
Weeks later, the bodies are still on the land. Left there to rot, and be picked apart as prey by other animals.
Casillas: “Just to see all that many. Just to see ’em in that one spot. Dead.”
The 51 killed is worth more than $280,000
Casillas: “I didn’t know what to think. I can believe a man shooting 1 or 2, to make a point. You can eat them, they wouldn’t go to waste. But 51 head? That’s a lot of animal.”
QB Ranch Owner Wayne Kirk is hoping to take legal action against the man who killed his livestock. No charges have been filed, due to questions regarding livestock classification and whether or not the shooter was within his legal boundaries. For Casillas, he says the scene on the land, still haunts him — but it’s the lack of remorse from the shooter, that pains him the most.
Casillas: “I think they said, one of the big bulls, he cut the head off of it. To me, it sounded like he was braggin’ about it. You know, he said, ‘I shot ’em!’ He was proud of it, ya know?
We tried to contact the man suspected of shooting the buffalo, however he hasn’t returned our calls.
The owner of QB Ranch is hoping to follow up with a lawsuit. We’ll of course keep following this story and bring you the latest.
I guess good fences really do make good neighbors.